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Inside look at Cougars hockey dominance

Members of the Aberdeen Cougars girls team huddle at the net prior to a game earlier this season against Huron at the Odde Ice Center. This past weekend the Cougars won their sixth state championship in the past seven seasons. Photo by John Davis taken 2/4/2021

The Aberdeen varsity girls’ hockey team has been building itself into one of the most dominating sports programs in state history over the last decade.

It once was a program that only got a handful of wins a season. Now, it has won six out of the last seven titles. And during that run, the Cougars have produced impressive numbers:

On March 7, Cougars defeated Sioux Falls 5-2 to win the 2021 state title.

This was the third year in a row that the two teams met for the state title. Aberdeen has won the last two title battles, while Sioux Falls defeated
Aberdeen 5-4 in overtime for the 2019 title.

The 19-0 Cougars outscored their opponents 178-14 this season.

Led by seniors Danielle Podoll, Justice Small, Morgan Dean, Estelle Harrison, Kaitlyn Holland and Shelby Nash, Aberdeen won its seventh
regular-season league title in a row.

The Aberdeen girls have a league record of 127 wins, 4 losses and 1 tie in the last seven seasons.

In the last seven state tournaments, the Cougars are 20-1, outscoring opponents 169-30 with nine shutouts.

Shelby Edwards coached the 2021, 2020 and 2018 Aberdeen state champs and the 2019 state runners-up.

Rob Weinmeister coached the 2015-17 state champion Cougars.

Only three South Dakota girls’ programs have won state titles since the South Dakota Amateur Hockey Association started its varsity girls’ state
tournaments in 1999: Sioux Falls (12) Aberdeen (six) and Brookings (five).

Here are the state champions:
2021, Aberdeen.
2020, Aberdeen.
2019, Sioux Falls.
2018, Aberdeen.

2017, Aberdeen.
2016, Aberdeen.
2015, Aberdeen.
2014: Sioux Falls.
2013: Sioux Falls.
2012: Brookings.
2011: Brookings.
2010: Brookings.
2009: Brookings.
2008: Sioux Falls.
2007: Sioux Falls.
2006: Sioux Falls.
2005: Sioux Falls.
2004: Sioux Falls.
2003: Brookings.
2002: Sioux Falls.
2001: Sioux Falls.
2000: Sioux Falls.
1999 (first year): Sioux Falls.

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